Arizona Angel Initiative Pilot Program Saving Lives in Maryvale

Community, Substance Abuse

Individuals and family members of those struggling with addiction often don’t have the resources to seek treatment or don’t know where to go. In a new effort, the Phoenix Police Department with support from the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Families have initiated a pilot program in the Maryvale area to address this community need.

The Arizona Angel Initiative allows individuals who have a drug addiction to come into a police precinct, turn in their drugs and get help without fear of arrest or prosecution. This initial pilot program is being offered to residents who live in the Maryvale area. Someone interested can come to the Maryvale-Estrella Police Precinct at 6180 W. Encanto Blvd. between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. and request to take part in the program.

As part of the program, participants are paired with a peer-support trained Angel. Angels evaluate the unique circumstances and needs of the individual and find an appropriate recovery center. They also lead classes and groups to help participants build life skills and overcome obstacles to recovery.

Participants receive education on life skills and solutions to break the cycle of addiction and achieve recovery. They also receive follow-up and after care and support. One of the innovative parts of this program allows Angels to help find appropriate child care for parents in the program as they work on their journey to recovery. This means that these children will not need to be placed in a foster home during this time.

The success of this program will allow community leaders to make the program available in other areas of the County.

To participate you must live in the Maryvale area, be 18 years or older and, and have a valid identification card.

You also must:

  • be willing and able to follow staff directions.
  • agree to abide by all rules and refrain from engaging in illegal and/or inappropriate activity.
  • be willing to go to detox and obtain medical clearance, if detox is required.
  • be physically and mentally able to self-manage personal hygiene and self-care within a non-medical, non-psychiatric facility
  • not be a fugitive from justice or have any prior or pending charges for crimes involving violence, arson, sexual offenses, children, or the elderly.

For more, watch video of remarks at a recent press conference by County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski and Phoenix Police Commander Sean Connelly from the Maryvale-Estrella Mountain Precinct: https://youtu.be/WhtfympQwXE?t=3